The City’s response to this pandemic is an issue of life and death. Effective COVID-19 recovery is going to require a multi-faceted approach, which emphasizes both getting our economy back on track, while preparing our city for the possibility of future health crises.

Recovering from the Coronavirus pandemic must start with the acknowledgement that the pandemic is not yet over. Our priority must continue to be social distancing, wearing a mask, and proper hygiene.

In the meantime and when the pandemic is over, we must immediately begin pursuing policies to improve our public health infrastructure, protect people’s economic livelihoods, and prevent unnecessary suffering.

To recover, begin preparations for the next crisis, and make our city more healthy and resilient, I will…

  • Take the strategies that I used in the Treasurer’s Office to shore up the city’s reserves and cushion our finances in preparation for the next major shocks and stressors to our budget.

  • I will make sure that we have the appropriate number of testing and vaccination sites in all parts of our city and that those sites remain free and accessible throughout the entire life of this public health crisis.

  • I will be a vocal advocate of getting vaccinated and support public health campaigns that are working to educate people on the vaccine.

  • I will use the Office as a bully pulpit to fight back against the Republicans’ most recent efforts to overturn the will of the people and reverse Missouri voters’ recent decision to expand Medicaid. Expanding Medicaid in Missouri is the next big step in making sure that people have the affordable access to healthcare that they need.

  • I will revisit the Resilient Saint Louis report and begin implementing the recommendations and use the Equity Indicators Report to set our priorities.

  • See Sustainable, Equitable, and Intentional Investment and Saying YES to Investment in You to learn about how we’re going to build a more equitable economy in our city and region.

When it comes to managing a city department during this pandemic, I’d also like to show you what I’ve done, so you know how I think about the work that we have ahead of us.

I was the first city office to close. Why? Because I saw the early effects that the pandemic was going to have on Black and brown communities, and I knew that I needed to take immediate action to keep my staff safe.

As Treasurer, I took the following steps:

  • Organized webinars on small business relief, specifically assistance with applying for the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) and other federal government grants and loan

  • Created Tips with Treasurer web series devoted to financial issues during the pandemic, including student loan relief, housing rights, unemployment benefits, money management, mental health, and several other topics

  • Provided free virtual one-on-one credit and money management counseling

  • Created a pandemic resource guide that was distributed through St. Louis Public Schools

  • Suspended parking penalties from March through September 1, 2020

  • Created payment plans to allow St. Louisans to avoid parking penalties, including towing